How Should I Log my Flight Time as a Safety Pilot?

2023-03-13T14:38:50-05:00March 13th, 2023|

A safety pilot (SP) is a second flight crewmember required by 14 CFR §91.109(c)(1) only when the  pilot flying (PF) is flying under simulated instrument conditions. Only the simulated instrument portion of the flight requires two pilots and is therefore the only period for which both pilots could potentially log PIC time. A safety pilot may log PIC time as long as they are acting as pilot-in-command for the simulated instrument portion of the flight. If they are not acting as pilot-in-command they must log their time as SIC.

What are the benefits of VFR flight following and should I use it for cross-country flights?

2023-02-23T15:48:38-06:00February 23rd, 2023|

VFR flight following means that air traffic control (ATC) is tracking your aircraft in real time on radar systems and will provide you with traffic advisories, safety alerts, vectors when requested, hazardous weather information and assistance in an emergency. This service must be requested by pilots and is only available when controller workloads allow.

How do I pick up my IFR clearance at a non-towered airport?

2022-12-27T19:38:40-06:00December 27th, 2022|

At some airports you may be able to reach ATC on the ground using the radio frequency listed for clearance delivery or approach control. Another option is to call clearance delivery directly on your phone. You can find the phone number for the overlying Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) listed in the Chart Supplement under in the communications section under “Clearance Delivery Phone.”  You can also pick up an IFR clearance after you are airborne, providing you remain VFR until you get your clearance.

Who has the right of way in the traffic pattern?

2022-09-23T18:20:23-05:00September 23rd, 2022|

The problem with the right-of-way rules is that they not only rely on each aircraft being aware of the other but also that at least one of them is going to take appropriate avoiding action.  Whomever has the right of way is essentially irrelevant if either pilot is unaware of the other traffic, and even if you think you have the right of way do you really want to rely on the other pilot to do the right thing? 

What is RAIM prediction and when do I need to use it?

2022-08-14T18:44:00-05:00August 14th, 2022|

Receiver autonomous integrity monitoring (RAIM) continuously monitors and compares signals from multiple satellites to ensure GPS signal accuracy. When you fly IFR using a non-WAAS GPS as your primary navigation system you are required to do a RAIM prediction check for your route before each flight. If RAIM is predicted to be unavailable, you must use other navigation systems or delay or cancel your flight.

Can you fly a straight-in approach at a non-towered airport?

2022-06-27T08:28:56-05:00June 27th, 2022|

There are in fact no regulations prohibiting straight-in approaches at non-towered airports because the FAA does not regulate pattern entry procedures. However, just like any other approach to an airport environment, pilots executing a straight-in approach should not disrupt the flow of other traffic arriving at and departing from the airport. 

What is the difference between ASOS and AWOS?

2022-04-22T10:54:31-05:00April 22nd, 2022|

Some airports don’t have any weather reporting but the ones that do have various types of AWOS or ASOS. These systems differ by level of sophistication and therefore usefulness to pilots. They range in price from $20,000 to $100,000 which is prohibitive for many smaller and privately owned airports.

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